Former Texas justice of peace charged with murder

Eric Williams, wife face capital murder charges, possibly death penalty

Published On: Apr 18 2013 07:12:50 PM CDT
KAUFMAN, Texas -

A former Justice of the Peace has been charged with the murders of a district attorney, his wife, and a prosecutor.

Eric Williams has been in jail since Saturday, accused of sending a threatening email to law enforcement the day after the murders of Michael and Cynthia McLelland.

Now, both Williams and his wife are facing capital murder charges and possibly the death penalty.

Investigators said Kim Williams confessed to her involvement in the killings of the McLellands and  prosecutor Mark Hasse.

The Kaufman County Sheriff said Kim Williams drove the day Hasse was gunned down in January, but her husband pulled the trigger. The second time, she wasn't even behind the wheel.

"On the McLelland shooting, it appears she was a passenger in the vehicle and Eric did the killing," said Sheriff David Byrnes.

Investigators said Eric Williams had been on their radar since the Hasse killing in January and he was questioned in connection to both investigations.

Sheriff Byrnes called the discovery of a storage building a watershed event. Inside, they found more than 20 guns and a vehicle believed to have been used in the murders

The killings were apparently motivated by revenge, after Eric Williams was prosecuted last year for stealing computers from a county building.

He and his wife are now facing charges of capital murder and possibly the death penalty.

"The death penalty is not just an option, It's a virtual certainty at least in regards to Eric Williams," said legal analyst Brian Wice. "If there ever was a case where the legislature thought the death penalty was warranted, this is it. It's an attack on the very foundation of the criminal justice system."